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Personalisation is key to engaging with consumers online

Published:  04 June, 2014

A reoccurring theme at London Wine Fair 2014 has been the growing importance of creating personalised content online to engage with consumers.

"Personalisation is the future," said Tom Head, director at the Lab a digital agency in the UK.  

Over the last two days, Head has been leading seminars at the LWF focused on social media and building an online wine business as the UK wine sector seeks to better engage with consumers online.

"Sales have changed. You need to put the consumer at the centre," said Head. By generating content that is of interest to the consumer and focusing on their needs, a business is better able to engage with consumers - after all it is about them and not you, he said.

"The wine industry is going through a transition at the moment.The way that Baby Boomers are sold to is different to the way that Millennials are. Millennials are much more experience-led. Authenticity has a value and it has to be real," said Head.

Wine businesses must try to avoid the trap of just talking about themselves and over-selling through Facebook and Twitter. "If you are going to interrupt me online, by posting on my Facebook or Twitter feed, then you need to make it worth my while," said Head. Just spamming people about your business can put people off, warned Head.

Head said those businesses trying to start creating an online identity and generating more personalised content should begin by knowing and understanding their own brand. By knowing what a brand stands for, the business is better positioned to then look at what audience and consumers it wants to engage with.

Head said: "Understand your customers and look at which social media platforms they are on. Go to them. Then you can start creating conversations and let your brand and self come through. You will see engagement and revenue rise."

Looking outside the wine industry at businesses like Über or Spotify to see great examples of creating local personalised content, Head advised.  

Über is cab company that is made up of people with their own personal cars in a customers area which can be hired for transport. The prices are all worked out prior to pick up and paid through the app- no cash needed. A user opens the app and can find cabs right in their area.  

Similarly Spotify offers playlists options that are made of what other people in your area are listening to.

Both apps are about where the users are and are creating something that is useful and specific to their location.

"Personalisation is all about being customer centric. Social media is enabling consumers to talk directly with brands and they are asking for brands to respond," said Head.